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Rgln 301 - Saul of Tarsus

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Saul of Tarsus

Cal A. Richards

RLGN 301

May 1, 2017




Thesis: Paul was both Jewish and Roman, he had two names which was not unusual being

Jewish. He was zealous in persecuting the church, after meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus

his life changed drastically. This changed resulted in him being called and converted to

Christianity. Because of his conversion he was persecuted in the same way he persecuted the

disciples of the Lord.

  1. The Two Names of The Apostle Paul
  1. Saul The Pharisee
  1. Paul The Roman
  1. Paul Is Identified as Having Zeal
  1. The Zeal of Paul
  2. A Zealot
  1. Paul is Called
  1. He Saw a Light
  2. Heard A Voice
  3. Obeyed Jesus Christ
  1. The Roles are Reversed
  1. Paul Preach the Gospel
  2. Paul Is Persecuted



The Two Names of Saul

Saul of Tarsus played an important among the Jewish and Christianity religion. Saul was born a Roman citizen, he was Jewish and a Pharisee. He had two names, Saul and Paul, which was not uncommon among the Jewish tradition. Saul was dedicated to the Jewish faith and was willing to give his life in defense for it. He believed in the Torah or Messianic Law, he was also a persecutor of the Lord’s disciples. The most important even in Saul’s life was his conversion from Judaism to Christianity, which led him to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. [b]

       There are many who have studied the names of Saul and Paul[c]. Given that both names are related to the same person, yet they associate both names differently. One must look at each name differently as they relate to the person. Saul was born a Roman citizen and being such gave him the opportunity of having a second name Paul. It was not uncommon for Jewish men to take on a second name. As Harrer, makes note in his journal, In the Greek East, possibly Macedonian Egypt, and later, certainly by the second century after Christ, spreading even to the West of the it became customary among numbers of provincial’s citizens to add informally another name, a name person

was called among his acquaintances.1 In Acts 13:9, we can see that Saul was called by

another name, which is evident of the two names of Saul. Whatever part of the apostle's name Saul

is, it is clear in Acts he had the name Saul from his early years.2 In his early days he would rather _____________

1Harrer, G. A. “Saul who also is Called Paul.” Harvard Theological Review 33, no. 1 (Ja 1940)

19–33.        . Retrieved from http://ezproxy.liberty.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/215266973?accountid=12085 (accessed April 17, 2017).





use the name Saul, for it was more appropriate to be called by this name seeing he was a Jew.3 We

must consider Saul’s close relationship in observance of the Jewish Law or Torah.  In Acts 13 16-41, it is Paul himself who refer to Saul of Kish, King of Israel who sought to kill David, God’s newly chosen king.4 This I find very interesting in how McDonough, makes the connection between King Saul and the Saul the persecutor.5 They both had the same mission in mind to destroy the servants of the Lord, by killing them. Notice, they were both were leaders as well, one was a king while the other was a leader among the Pharisees.

         Now there must have been a time when the change of name took place.  It is apparent that

Acts 13:9 serves two purposes, it shows the name change from Saul to Paul. This indicates he  

no longer goes by the name Saul but Paul.6 Here Paul goes by the Gentile name, which

identifies him for the Gentile mission, Jesus Christ will direct him to preach the gospel to both the Jews and the Gentiles.7 Since the name Paul reflects his gentile mission, he would not oppose the church and its belief, in Christ the risen savior, instead he will oppose Judaism and the



4McDonough, Sean M. “Small Change: Saul to Paul, Again.” Journal of Biblical Literature 125, no. 2 (Sum 2006): 390–391. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.liberty.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/215266973?accountid=12085 (accessed April 17, 2017).








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